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Below you are provided with a cloze test. First try to read it once to get the gist of the text.


Using Computers for Educational Freedom
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Many of the experts who write articles or talk at conferences about the use of computers in education give the ….. that simply introducing computers to the classroom will automatically lead to increased ….. for learners. The truth, I think, is that the use of computers can go either way. When Ted Nelson says, ''The purpose of computers is human freedom,'' he really means that is what the purpose should be. In practice, most computers are better described as ….. to human slavery! The computers at the IRS check up on income tax cheaters; the ones at the bank send you bills (or your paycheck, which is more pleasant than a bill but a more important form of economic slavery). More sophisticated research computers at the universities are used to study pictures of Vietnamese jungles to help ….. where to drop the napalm. Similarly, many computers in schools are still used ….. for administrative computing; students do not get near them. If students do use the computers, it is often only for teacher-directed drill and practice, no matter how cleverly ….. as a game. Better uses of the technology are possible, but they aren't inevitable.

Consider an ….. . Most teachers probably agree, in ….., with the idea of educational freedom. Students learn best through intrinsic motivation, not through force. What you learn under pressure doesn't last past the exam. Everyone says these things, and yet almost all teachers continue to give grades. Why? '' It's required ''; ''The colleges need grades''; ''The parents wouldn't stand ….. it ''; ''It's the way things are.'' In short, the reasons for grades are political. The same political reasons make educational freedom through computers a difficult ….. . If students are left to their own devices to initiate projects, how do we evaluate them? How do we know they aren't just ….. time? Remember, many school computers are funded through federal grants, and the feds always insist on ….. of the program. That means ….. the computer into the usual school routine of assignments initiated and evaluated by teachers.

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An even more frustrating barrier is that the students themselves are not accustomed to being without ….. from an adult. Many students will find valuable projects ….. their own, but many more will have to be weaned ….. slowly from dependence on explicit assignments. One of my early students taught himself four different programming languages, and learned a great deal about issues of programming style and structure in his senior year. He'll probably learn less about computers in four years of college. But he told me every day that I'm a terrible teacher, because I didn't ….. him learn anything. I didn't stand in front of the room and ….. information, I didn't send in skip slips if he didn't show up, and I didn't punish him when he acted ….. . Well, it's not much fun to hear all this. It was tempting to say ''OK, if that's what you want, sit down and shut up!'' But I doubt if the most effective classroom manager in the world could teach this student as much in a year as he learned on his own--he would start ….. his efforts into a power struggle.


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